Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Water Death

While observing the life around the pond, I noticed too, how precious life was by the creatures that lost their life there.
Some moths landed too close to the water.

Some frogs come out of the water to land on fire ants and were soon devoured.

You cannot see the frog because so many ants are covering it. I had to poke it with a stick to see what they were eating.

Some frogs were just dead - perhaps after trying to catch a bee instead of a fly.

And some flies were just dead because they landed on my leg and I swatted them. I do not have any pictures because there was not anything left to show of them.
The glories of life in its diversity was only made more valuable by the juxtaposition of death side-by-side.
I just have to be still and around me, I will see the entirety of the circle of life.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Being Still

This morning I went down to my parents’ pond - or what’s left of it - and took the time to really look. The Nature Channel on television has infinite documentaries on watering holes and the animals that use them, but I had never seen one on insects. 
I had never taken the time to look for them either.
This morning, the entire remnant of the pond was abuzz with various bugs that came for sustenance or supplies. Bees, wasps, and flies worked in abundance around the limited water that was left. Some bees and wasps gathered water while others gathered together bits of mud for their nest.
All it took was me being still for a little while.
Being still and watching what is happening. Listening for the quiet sounds. Stillness and listening. Two qualities we often overlook in this mad world as we try to keep up with all that is happening around us.
Being still I saw wild bugs hovering above the mud.

I do not believe I have ever taken a better picture. Even the newborn fawn does not compare to the hovering bug with its wing caught mid-stoke.
Being still, I saw a variety of moths landing on the mud.

Being still, I saw a red wasp land on the water and be blown across on the wind as the wasp gathered water for building it's paper nest.

Being still, I saw an amazing white-faced beetle crawling around the mud.

Being still, I saw bugs crawling out of the water and across the mud.

Being still, I saw life happening around me that I had never noticed before. No matter what I have going on in my life, I must take the time to stop, pause, and notice what is really happening around me that under other circumstances I would charge right past.
Being still, I must have patience and see the beauty that surrounds me.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Wilderness Skills

For the first time in many years, I spent multiple nights at my parents’ house in my home town. When getting back to their house after spending the bulk of the day at the hospital where my father was recovering from a recent surgery, I would do the chores that needed doing then head out into the pasture with my camera to catch what wildlife or other nature sights I could before the sun went down too much. 
Due to the ongoing drought, even though the time was middle-spring, areas that should be lush and green instead appeared dull, dusty, and stressed from lack of moisture. Armadillos were out well before dusk to begin their digging in search of grubs near the surface. I even managed to catch a rabbit in the middle of one of the right-of-ways cut through the wooded area. 

The most amazing sight, though, came when I walked upon a doe that was preoccupied with something besides my approach. Long after I snapped the first picture of her, she remained with her head turned aside. Finally she turned aside and I could see something that from the distance appeared to be a cat crawling around below her.
Moving around to gain a better vantage, and with the benefit of my zoom lens, I was able to see the new-born fawn that lay flat against the ground as soon as the doe moved away upon noticing me.

I remembered all the times as a youth I had used my wilderness skills to sneak up on the white-tailed deer in our pasture. I would get within yards of them and yell, “BOO” as loudly as possible just to see them about jump out of their skins. Looking back as an adult, I’m really glad none of them ever attacked me with their razor sharp hooves, but after again being able to sneak up on a deer and see the brand new life, I am glad to know I still have some of the skills.